Monday, May 18, 2009

The Big Fix by Roger L. Simon (Warner Books 1973)

"Mr. Seymour Bittleman - you should pardon the expression - has made a ridiculous misinterpretation of history," she told the boys as they climbed onto her lap. "After seventy years of struggle, he now announces that Kautsky was correct at the Second International . . . Vey es Mir! . . . Don't you remember what Trotsky wrote in 'A Letter to Party Meetings,' that the Kautskian line leads to nothing but revisionism and Social Democracy?!"
"The rabbi of Kotzk said: Everything in the world can be imitated except truth. For truth that is imitated is no longer truth." Bittelman grinned and stabbed a piece of coldfish with his fork.
"Now what the hell does that mean?" She tugged at her babushka and made a face somewhere between Ethel Merman and La Pasionaria.
"The rabbi of Ger said: I often hear men say they want to throw up the world. But I ask you, is the world yours to throw up?"
"Shut up, Bittleman. I don't want you polluting these children's minds with your cheap religious talk. Next thing you know you'll be putting on a prayer shawl and quoting Hillel."
She turned away from him with a wave and I opened the lunch in front of us. Bittelman snickered and tucked a tiny napkin into his white shirt already stained with fish oil.

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